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SOURCE: Lars Leetaru, NY Times

IATAestimates that over 4.3 billion passengers flew on an airplane in 2017, with the average traveler flying at least once every 22 months.

With the demand for flights increasing annually, the environmental impact of air travel is significant. Some estimates show that the carbon impact of travel is over 3 times higher than expected.

Here are some steps you can take to become a more ‘sustainable traveler’:

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency aircrafts account for 12% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Using rail is a better alternative if available.
  • Avoiding multiple layovers and shorter flights are options to minimize your impact by reducing pollution per passenger mile. Fly direct as much as possible.
  • Using local public transport is an easy way for you to reduce your impact personally!
  • Consider using a bike rental to explore a new city.

Although air travel as we know it today has not been at the forefront of the sustainability movement, the prospects for a future of sustainable travel look promising. With fuel efficient planes on the horizon, the potential for low-carbon biofuels to replace up to 30% of jet fuel could lower the carbon intensity to about one third of what it was in 2016.

“Act as if what you’re doing makes a difference. It does” – William James

Read more tips on being a sustainable traveler here.  

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Tourism 2020: Quality over Quantity

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Credit: Nawalescape on Pixabay

The future of Bali’s tourism industry is likely to promote green and sustainable tourism through ‘Tourism 2020’ and Tri Hita Karana.

On the sidelines of the 2018 Indonesia Tourism Attraction Expo and Forum (ITAEF), held in Kuta last week, House of Representatives Commission X Member, I Putu Supadma Rudana, told local news wires that the future of tourism will change for the better.

He suggested Bali could lead the way and be a prime example of tourism development based on being a Tri Hita Karana – Green Sustainable Tourism Destination.

Read more on Bali’s sustainable future here.

By Gapura Bali.

 

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A Flickr image of a seal taken at Scotland’s Forvie nature reserve. Verino77 via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Watching animals in their natural habitat may seem harmless, but it can have serious consequences for the conservation status of wildlife. More than 1,400 species listed as Endangered and Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature are threatened by tourism. This can be a consequence of habitat destruction caused by tourism development or disturbance caused by tourists.

Consequently, we need to find ways to manage these activities so that the targeted wildlife can continue to thrive and the businesses that depend on it can remain economically viable. This is not an easy task.

The first obstacle on the path to managing nature tourism sustainably can be overcome by harnessing the power of the internet and social media. We can use this data to identify areas where wildlife is under strong pressure from recreational activities and intervene, perhaps preventing any significant impacts on the wildlife. We can also investigate whether nature recreation is helping countries to achieve biodiversity and sustainability targets, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For example, we can look for associations between nature tourism growth and progress towards biodiversity and sustainability goals in different countries.

Read the full article here.

By Francesca Mancini of The Conversation.

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Residents in tourism hotspots have had enough. So what’s the answer?

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Photograph: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

How do you solve a problem like tourism? It employs hundreds of millions of people, buoys entire industries – but can tear apart the very cities that benefit from it, alienating residents and causing irreversible damage to their culture and heritage.

Protests across Europe have spurred talk of “responsible tourism” and forcing the sector to factor in sustainability, but the problem is already at such a scale that doing anything about it seems akin to turning around a cruise liner.

What’s the way out of this mess?
Read the full article here to find out.

By  for The Guardian.

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Polar bear’s death raises questions about sustainable tourism in the Arctic

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STOCK/Getty Images

The western settlement of Longyearbyen, with a population of roughly 2,000, is the area’s main tourism hub. Currently it’s high-season, which means thousands of international tourists hungering for a glimpse of the Arctic’s natural splendor cruise on both small and large ships, occasionally disembarking for land excursions on remote islands.

On Sunday, 12 crew members from the German ship MS Bremen landed on the northern-most island of the archipelago to prepare for an on-shore excursion with passengers, according to a statement by the Svalbard governor’s office. A 42-year-old crew member was attacked by a polar bear, which was then shot and killed in what the crew member said was an act of self-defense.

The incident is being investigated by authorities, although it is possible that the crew had happened upon a starving bear.

“When you have more people coming to the same area in which the polar bears and other arctic animals live, the risk of conflict and disturbance increases — it’s more of a mathematical law,” said Morten Wedege, head of environmental protection for the governor of Svalbard. “Our challenge is to inform and educate and guide people to know how to behave in the high arctic.”

The incident sheds light on the challenges of tourism growth in the area.

Read the full article here.

By Sarah Hucal for ABC News 

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As the global mindset shifts towards a more sustainable future, resorts in Thailand are also taking initiatives in this direction. These efforts are accelerating positive change in the tourism industry. Here are some initiatives that resorts are taking to show that luxury and sustainability can go hand-in-hand.

Cleaning:

Community:

Construction:

  • Soneva Kiri: Materials used to construct the resort are natural and from sustainable sources.
  • Six Senses Yao Noi: Utilises surrounding nature & natural resources to educate guests.
  • Bangkok Treehouse: Energy from renewable sources.
  • Tongsai Bay: No trees were cut during the resort’s construction.

Food:

Waste:

  • Soneva Kiri: Single use plastics and imported water bottles are banned.
  • Soneva Kiri: Waste management is done by onsite composting and a bio-fuel plant within the resort provides fuel to run conventional engines.
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Credit: 123RF

Vanuatu’s foreign minister says a national audit currently underway will help determine the next stages of the country’s plastics ban.

Ralph Regenvanu said the audit would also examine ways of reducing plastic use, recycling and alternative materials.

He said the ultimate goal is to eliminate all single-use plastics going into the ocean.

“There’s going to be a number of options. There are some items we can obviously ban outright like we did with the three items we just banned. But then of course there’s options for container return, return and deposit schemes.

“That’s seems to be something that is very successful in other jurisdictions. Having a levy which is charged and then people get given a refund for the return of a particular item.”

Read the full article here.

By Radio New Zealand

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community, helping each other, sustainability, growth, teamwork.

Participation in a community-oriented program in Nepal. Credit: Giving Way

The term “sustainable travel” has a green glow to it, connoting eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility. But the human side of sustainability, as defined by the World Tourism Organization, addresses community impact, both social and economic, and is newly gaining traction among travel companies.

“There’s a lot of people who think ‘eco-tourism’ when they hear ‘sustainable tourism,’ but that’s a piece of the puzzle,” said Kelley Louise, the executive director of the Impact Travel Alliance, an industry nonprofit organization that focuses on sustainable travel. “Sustainability has a positive impact not only on the environment, but the culture and the economy of the destination you’re visiting.”

Organizations promoting social impact travel aim to emphasize not just big do-good trips, but to educate travelers about their smallest decisions, such as eating at a locally owned restaurant.

Read the full article here.

By Elaine Glusac for The New York Times.

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Australia has shown immense dedication to the Sustainable Development Goals with the government, businesses, educational institutions, and individuals showing a strong commitment in building a sustainable future.

Below, we look at a few destinations from “down under” and their sustainability efforts.

Brisbane
The third largest city in Australia ranks high in terms of sustainability because of their efficient and easily accessible transport system. Due to their focus on sustainable activities such as composting, waste management, and recycling, Brisbane won the Dame Phyllis Frost first prize in 2015.

City of Canada Bay (Sydney)
The City of Canada Bay is an area located in Sydney. A common feature for all initiatives introduced by the local administration is the involvement of citizen participation. The city has also launched the Greenhouse Action Plan, with a commitment to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

Glenorchy (Hobart)
The small town of Glenorchy, located in Hobart, has been recognised for a project involving the industrial reuse of rainwater, which saves approximately 400 million litres of water a year. Furthermore, the town has taken steps to educate the youth with awareness campaigns on solidarity recycling, compost recycling and urban gardens.

For more examples of other noteworthy sustainable destinations in Australia, have a look at the list compiled by Keep Australia Beautiful here.

Tip for travellers

If you would like to find out which Australian tourism operators, accommodations, and attractions are eco-friendly, then look for accreditation by Ecotourism Australia. The Eco Certification logo is carried by those businesses that are recognised as environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.

You can visit the Green Travel Guide, published by Ecotourism Australia, to go through their list of all accredited businesses.

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Officials say Vietnam’s best bet may be to plant more mangrove trees (Credit: Harald Franzen/©GIZ)

Rising sea levels threaten key coastal areas like the Mekong Delta, which produces the majority of Vietnam’s rice. The only thing standing between the country and the ocean is a tree.

Mangroves are the climate superheroes of the arboreal world. They grow in swamps along the coasts: thin trunks and tangled, spidery roots submerged in dark, briny water. The roots filter saltwater and can expand eroded coastlines. They also create natural storm barriers and protect agricultural land from saltwater infiltration.

Read the full article here.

By Erin Craig for BBC Travel.

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